Bollywood – A Genre less Cinema Industry

In most part of the world, cinema is being produced on genre basis. Story of the films, the core theme and its execution manner decides the genre of the film. In west they have classics under each and every genre. Whether it’s Casablanca or When Harry met Sally in Romance genre, Die Hard or Matrix in action genre, Godfather or Goodfellas in Crime genre, each and every film are known for its genre and its execution based on that genre.
But there is an industry, (and I'll say, one of the biggest) called Bollywood where films had been made without any genre through out the timeline. From the starting only we make films entirely based on heroics of the lead actor. Our films are known according to the actors. It's never about the genre. Because whatever be the genre, whatever you like to call it, every film gets the same execution. We are making musicals right from the dawn of the cinema. Character mostly confess their emotional outburst in form of songs or may be shaking their leg too as an add-on. 

In first two decade of Hindi Films, newly Independent India witness films on social subject. But with the entry of actors and filmmakers like Dev Anand & Raj Kapoor, cinema starts shifting its focus from society to individuals. Though Raj Kapoor had made several classics revolving around social theme like Awara, Shree 420, Jagte Raho but except Jagte Raho, his every films started creating a larger than life image of common man. That’s why he termed as The Showman of Indian Cinema.
The only filmmaker, I considered has guts or who dared to think something out of the blue is Guru Dutt. And I don’t have to tell that among 8 of the films directed by him, two is now included among the greatest films of all time, both by Time magazine's "All-TIME" 100 best movies, a feat only achieved by Mani Ratnam for his film Nayagan. Guru Dutt has that extra edge as a real film maker. He knows the technical aspect of cinema. He could play with camera and lights (remember Kagaaz Ke Phool song, Waqt ne kiya, kya haseen sitam) I don’t know about any other shot in India except Guru Dutt Shot. But you will get lots of such things in west. And the difference is execution.

With the entry of Naseer Hussain (uncle of Aamir Khan) cinema started revolving just around women. Not in women centric way, but as far as HERO of the film is considered the most precious thing for him in the entire universe is to get married with that very girl called HEROINE of the film. To make films look different, different type of obstacle are created (not different type of stories), sometime they are called VILLIAN.  

From sixties onward Heroes started fighting for the girl until Yash Chopra came in out of his socially moving dramas like Deewar, Trishul to start lighting the sari’s of heroine in the backdrop of Switzerland’s natural backdrop. 
Amitabh Bachchan in the entire 70’s kick the baddies for different yet same reason. He gave some classics but not worthy enough to be called as The product of Cinema. In the mid 70’s only a parallel cinema comes into this world as an orphan. So they tried hard and hard to show the hardship of common man. But they also can’t shift there mind and making from already existing film making. The basic difference is that mainstream cinema has some joyful dancing number whereas parallel cinema only shows the tragic scene with tragic score in the background. They are somewhat in the genre of Drama but that somewhat is negligible only.

Finally, arrives the mediocre 80’s which just shows revenge, revenge for the rape of sister, wife, or any other close relative of HERO (99% it’s Mithun Da, highest Tax Payer at that time). Sometime it’s for the mass massacre of the family too but that also include some mis-happening with some female character. Overall it’s the rape of Cinema with lots of absurd song and dialogue.
Post 2000, we are trying to get aware of what cinema is? But then again we are just copying the stuff from west (may be because they have something to say). Some time it gets click (Hum Tum, Ghajini, Chak De India), but most of the time it’s utter disappointment. So we started lifting our very own regional films and some old so called classics. 

And when they get to know the fact that we are making genre less cinema, they make a new genre which suits almost every films in Bollywood i.e. Masala Films or Masala Enteretainer, where you gets stint of every genre whether it’s comedy, romance, action, thriller, even horror.
But I’m hopeful that someday we will see some films having content focusing on particular element or theme (A Wednesday, Lunch Box) May be then we can say, “Fuck, Yeah, we also consider cinema as ART”

P.S: It’s not that I don’t like Hindi Films or West doesn’t make crap. It’s all about ratio.

Do let us know, your feedback/comments in the section below.

- Anurag Singh.


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